Cody Parkey checked Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and noticed that he had a few more mentions than usual. Eagles fans were to first to let Parkey know of the changes to the PAT rules for 2015.
"For me, I just look at it as another way to get better," Parkey said. "Twenty yards is pretty short and they figured it out after this long period of time where kickers are getting better and not many people are missing them. So, a 33-yard extra point is not far, but it's not a chip shot by any means. There will be more misses.
"I'm up for the challenge and I'm really looking forward to hitting those kicks in practice and nailing them and feeling good about it."
Parkey had a storybook first season in the NFL. After signing with the Colts as an undrafted free agent, he was traded from Indianapolis to Philadelphia just before the third preseason game. Parkey won the Eagles' kicker job in the final two weeks and went on to set the NFL rookie record for most points in a season with 150 while earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. He also set franchise records for most 50-plus-yard field goals (4) and touchbacks (46) and tied the Eagles' single-season mark for field goal percentage (88.9).
Parkey's job will be a little bit tougher in 2015 as the line of scrimmage for an extra point attempt is now the 15-yard line instead of the 2. Parkey hit all 54 of his extra point attempts last season from 20 yards out. He also happened to hit all of his field goal attempts from 33 yards and in.
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At the Pro Bowl, the NFL experimented with not only with just the 33-yard PATs, but a goal post that was over four feet narrower. Parkey hit both of his extra point attempts, while the Colts' Adam Vinatieri, whom Indy kept over Parkey, missed two extra points and a field goal.
"If they were going to change something, I'm glad they scooted it back and not narrowed the goal posts or both because as you see Adam Vinatieri, one of the best in the game, he even missed a few," Parkey said. "It's good and bad at the same time. I think a lot of us in the league are thinking of it as another way to help our team, maybe make us more valuable."
Parkey said that he appreciates having a year of NFL experience under his belt before having to adjust to the new rules.
"The first year of something I like to have a foundation to work off. Last year, for me, was great. I had a plan. I had a process of warming up. I didn't have to worry about anything changing," Parkey said. "This year, I'm a lot more comfortable with something like this changing. I do think it's a big deal that I have a year under my belt and to go forward from there."
Success has not been a problem for Parkey. This offseason, Parkey is working on a low kick count, but training hard in order to peak during the season. Even after a Pro Bowl appearance, Parkey sees plenty of room for improvement.
"The best advice that I've gotten in the league so far is once you feel comfortable, that's what you start slacking off and someone might come take your job. I think it's a good thing for me because it makes me work hard 24/7. I'm always thinking about kicking," Parkey said. "Going to the Pro Bowl that first year, some people could look at it as, 'Hey, how is he going to get better?' I think that's something to strive for. I missed four kicks last year, maybe I won't miss any. That's the goal and what we're trying to reach."